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7 Hallmarks of a Great Workplace

By: Norm Spitzig
Posted: June 28, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

What exactly makes a workplace great? What are the specific characteristics common to those very special businesses that are universally recognized as the indisputable signs of a superior operation? The answer: A workplace that successfully attains the following characteristics can proudly and accurately call itself great.

1. A clear mission and purpose for being. The very best workplaces have a straightforward, concise mission statement that is readily understandable and enthusiastically embraced by each and every employee. Such great workplaces have carefully identified those factors critical to their long-term success, as well as their specific vision for the future. Great facilities develop detailed action plans and accompanying areas of responsibility to ensure that their vision for the future is concrete, actionable, measurable and achievable.

2. Forward-thinking, creative senior management and a caring, well-trained staff. At great skin care facilities, everyone from the president to yesterday’s hire are fully committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure the company’s ongoing success. Individuality is valued and cherished, but teamwork remains first and foremost.

3. Meaningful work. A great workplace allows and encourages its employees to do what they deem meaningful. Malcolm Gladwell is correct when he notes in his book Outliers: The Story of Success (Little, Brown and Co., 2008) that, for most people, work is meaningful when it is sufficiently autonomous, appropriately complex and has a perceived direct relationship between the effort invested and the accompanying return. Great skin care facilities offer team members the opportunity to consistently do what they themselves perceive as genuinely meaningful.

4. Reasonable, understandable and uniformly enforced work rules. The rules and policies at great workplaces are neither capricious nor arbitrary. Ideally, they are not written to prevent employees from doing something, but rather to set appropriate standards by which all are allowed to maximize their potential. In short, great skin care facilities embrace rules and policies that reflect the core values of the workplace, as well as the expectations of the employees and customers in a fair and logical manner.